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Yuval Noah Harari on Truth

personperson Don't believe everything you thinkThe liminal space Veteran
edited November 2018 in Philosophy

I'm listening to Yuval Noah Harari's latest book 21 Lessons for the 21st Century and found his chapter on truth to be especially compelling. I don't know if this is appropriate to do, I give it to the moderators to decide, but I thought I'd transcribe his chapter on truth in its entirety. So grab a cup of something, sit back and try to take it all in.


If you feel overwhelmed and confused by the global predicament, you are on the right track. Global processes have become too complicated for any single person to understand. How then can you know the truth about the world and avoid falling victim to propaganda and misinformation?

I so appreciate the way he thinks and embraces complexity and nuance and avoids certain, easy answers. He explains better in the following chapters on ignorance and post truth on how we can approach knowledge in today's world. Making a whole chapter on truth into 46 words speaks volumes on the way he understands certainty, it reminds me of the Buddhist idea of groundlessness. I'm also reminded of Einstein's quote "As the circle of our knowledge expands, so does the circumference of darkness surrounding it."

At any rate, I recommend the book and Sapiens highly. I haven't read his second book Homo Deus.


  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran
    edited November 2018

    Yuval Noah Harari certainly is one of the more interesting thinkers out there at the moment, but I haven’t yet heard much from him which speaks to calmness, practice and a mindful way of being.

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think The liminal space Veteran

    His knowledge base is in history and you're right he does speak mostly to that and current events. I'm not done with the book yet but the last chapter is on meditation and I've heard a few passing mentions to the importance of self knowledge in the book.

  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator

    He practices meditation regularly, and credits his ability to see the world the way he does to that practice. He encourages people to meditate, but his writings don't focus on that so much as the insights he's develop through his own practice and observations of the world.

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